Biking to Work – it’s WORTH IT!

I LOVE riding my bike so I’ll take any excuse I can to sneak in a ride!  If you have been reading my blog for a while you know I started biking to the grocery store.  I have been biking to work for a few years now – not every day, sometimes I wake up too late or the weather is bad, or I’m feeling lazy 🙂 but the days where it works out just seems to start my day off right!

you don't get to enjoy views like this when you drive!
you don’t get to enjoy views like this when you drive!

The area I live is NOT bike friendly at all – I hear of towns and cities where there are special bike lanes and tons of people bike commute to work, not here.  I would LOVE to live in an area that is more bike friendly, but I don’t so I just have to be a little more careful.

When I first started riding to work, I would go through a development and then have to cross over a fairly busy street to get to my job.  I always do what I can to be visible to drivers like wear the brightest colors I can.  People at my old job would make fun of the fact I wore a helmet – I have to admit all the peer pressure made me cave and the ONE day I didn’t wear my helmet I almost got hit by a car who was coming from the opposite direction and made a left turn in front of me.  I am not kidding when I say it was one of the scariest moments of my life – they were probably a foot away from my front tire – didn’t even look, just turned almost into me.  I literally had a vision of flipping over the hood of the car.  I was shaking as I arrived at work and guess what – I have worn my helmet EVERY TIME I have commuted since.

I remember one time a few summers ago I got caught in a freak rain shower on the way home – couldn’t do anything about it, I had to keep going.  Cars were slowing down and I saw the drivers looking at me with pity, until they realized I was actually having a blast – beaming from ear to ear.  I would see them smile, laugh and drive off.

A variety of things have changed for me over the years – I got a new job which is only slightly farther away so I can still ride, I got a better bike which makes a HUGE difference in how fast I can get to work, I found an alternate route through a park so although I still have to cross some roads they are not usually as busy, and I got Ortleib panniers so I can carry everything I need for the day instead of shoving it all into a backpack.  I can fit everything I need into one pannier and it is bright yellow with reflective areas on it which helps me be visible to cars.

So what exactly do I bring with me?  I bring clothing to change into, my lunch, a little makeup, my wallet and that’s about it.  I leave a small bag at work with soap, deodorant, shower shoes, etc so I can take a quick shower when I get into work – that way my coworkers don’t suffer – LOL!  🙂  At my old job there was not a shower easily available to me, but there were plenty of bathrooms I could just wash up in the sink.

So far all this sounds like a pain in the butt right?  I mean getting up early, almost getting hit by cars, showering at work…it’s not – for me it is the perfect way to start my day.  Sure I have to plan a little extra to make sure I have everything and leave a bit earlier than I would if I had to drive, but it is totally worth it.  This week as I was riding through the park I saw a bit of movement up ahead – at first I thought it was a dog.  It is getting dark earlier so I was having a hard time seeing what it was.  I stopped and thought oh man, I am gonna get attacked by a dog in a second, but it was as still as a statue.  My next thought was that it was a tree – it was pretty tall, my eyes were probably just playing tricks on me right?  Yup, a tree off to the side of the trail….I rode a little closer – I could not tell if it was legs I was looking at or just multiple skinny trees.  I slowly inched forward while I was going back and forth between it being trees and a Great Dane.  I couldn’t turn around or I would be really late for work.  Suddenly I saw it for what it really was – a HUGE buck standing there off to the side of the trail staring at me.  It was now probably 10 feet away.  Sure I have seen deer before but not a buck so close to me – it was beautiful.  I slowly tried to grab my phone to take a picture even though I knew it wouldn’t come out with the lighting so dim.  He moved off the trail, but didn’t go far – I tried to take a picture, but of course it’s a brown deer next to brown trees in the autumn woods at daybreak – it didn’t look like anything.  He stood and watched me from on top of the hill as I rode by.  It was AWESOME!

For me, encounters like that make it TOTALLY worth riding my bike to/from work.  I get chance encounters with deer, ducks, groundhogs, squirrels, stray cats etc all while getting some fresh air, exercise and doing something good for the planet – sure sometimes I get to the top of the hill trying to catch my breath and I’m just sucking in the smell of skunk, but it just makes for a funny story!  🙂  It’s a win/win situation!  🙂

a little friend I made on my way home!

Have you ever gotten a chance to bike commute?  What are some issues you face or are you lucky enough to live in a bike friendly area?

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14 thoughts on “Biking to Work – it’s WORTH IT!

  1. AHHH I LOVE THIS!! I wish it were easier for me to bike to work, but I work disgusting hours where it’s either dark when I go in, or dark when I go home and I like 10 miles from my job. I don’t think that’s far by any means, and I biked to my work area last weekend for fun, but ended up coming home in the dark and that was NOOOTT fun! One day I will do this..one day…

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    • I am lucky that I live about 3 miles away from my job- it is dark in the am but I just got a light for my bike and I always wear bright colors! I hope you get to- it is so fun!! How is ur new pretty bike working out? 🙂 thanks for reading!!!

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  2. I love bike commuting as well! When I first started, I’ll admit I resented the time it took out of my day to bike back and forth to work but now I couldn’t imagine my work day without the bike ride. I don’t know of anyone else in my area who commutes by bike or lives car free so I do get a lot of comments by people who think I am absolutely nuts…if only they knew what they were missing out on 😀

    I love your Cannondale, what a beauty!

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    • Thanks for reading- and yes I LOVE my Cannondale!! It rides sooo smooth compared to the old junker I used to have! Haha!! 🙂 do u ride in all different types of weather? I have been doing a lot of research about winter riding but idk if I’m gonna be that brave this year- haha! 🙂

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      • Yeah, I bike all year. The hardest part about biking in winter was deciding to actually do it-I was really scared and everyone was telling me I was gonna die. But winter biking is a total blast! Yes, it does take extra clothes and gear and more time on the road but biking out in the early morning in a snowstorm is one of the greatest things ever! I am so excited for it to snow again…

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  3. Do it! Autumn riding is awesome, winter riding is rewarding on so many levels. I love bike commuting but can only do it twice per week owing to taking the kids to school on the other 2 days. I wish that it could be more and once they’re older my plan is to ride to school with them at least one way once per week. I’d rather ride in the warm but this winter will be my 2nd commuting. Like you, I love riding too much to let the weather interfere and besides, I hve a hard ass reputation to maintain-my British work colleagues seem to think that I’m “mad” because I do it the year round. I just wish that I had more time to write about it these days…

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  4. I have a one speed granny bike which I love and ride to the station every day and do all my grocery shopping on. My sister is the mad crazy cyclist in the family. She does monster road trips whith her camping gear. Must suggest she writes a blog!

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